Welcome to SoMo?

Some D.C. residents lament nicknamed neighborhood trend

Saturday, Oct 6, 2012  |  Updated 10:58 AM EDT
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Welcome to SoMo?

NBCWashington.com

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A well-known woman once asked, "What's in a name?" In Adams Morgan, the question might be revised to "What's in a nickname?"

This weekend, the Adams Morgan Main Street Group is promoting an area that it has dubbed "SoMo," or South Adams Morgan. The catchall term refers to the area around the intersections of 18th Street, U Street, Florida Avenue and California Street. Even D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray has gotten into the act. The mayor will be on hand Saturday to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newest addition to the area, Pleasant Pops Farmhouse Market & Cafe.

This sort of amalgation is hardly new. The former New York Avanue Metro station was rechristened NoMa-Gallaudet U. earlier this year. Elsewhere, New Yorkers have been referring to the original nicknamed neighborhood as "SoHo" (south of Houston Street) since the 1970s. And it's not just an East Coast phenomenon either. Seattleites have referred to a trendy part of the city's Industrial District as SoDo (South of Downtown) for over a decade.

But for at least one local blogger, the nicknaming trend has all become a bit too much. In a post published Friday, Tom Bridge of We Love DC lamented what he called the "fake neighborhood" trend.

"We’re not calling Barracks Row SoCaHi," Bridge wrote, "nor are we calling Brightwood NoCoHi, nor are we going to call the area of Shaw by Howard HoHoHo, or the space between Georgetown and the West End WeEnTown, because names are serious things, and this whole SoHo revolution so completely bogus that I can’t even begin to quantify the problems with it."

So, what's in a name, after all? Maybe more than you think.

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